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Explanations for mixed-orientation marriage : a comparative study of previously married and never-married gay men

Higgins, Daryl 2001, Explanations for mixed-orientation marriage : a comparative study of previously married and never-married gay men, in WAS 2001 : PariSEXO 2001 : XVth World Congress of Sexology, World Association for Sexology, France, pp. 104-104.

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Title Explanations for mixed-orientation marriage : a comparative study of previously married and never-married gay men
Author(s) Higgins, Daryl
Conference name World Association for Sexual Health. Congress (15th : 2001 : Paris, France)
Conference location Paris, France
Conference dates June 24-28 2001
Title of proceedings WAS 2001 : PariSEXO 2001 : XVth World Congress of Sexology
Publication date 2001
Start page 104
End page 104
Publisher World Association for Sexology
Place of publication France
Summary Despite a large body of literature on the development of sexual orientation, little is known about why some men who marry women have (or develop) a homosexual orientation. In the current study, a selfselected sample of 43 never-married gay men and 26 gay men who were married to a woman completed a self-report questionnaire. As well as obtaining descriptive information from the 26 men about their marriages and reason for marrying, hypotheses were tested, based on five possible explanations for gay men’s marriages: (a) internalised homophobia; (b) religious intolerance (c) confusion created because of childhood/adolescent sexual experiences; (d) poor psychological adjustment; and (e) differences in strength of sexual preference. The two most frequent reasons for marriage were that it “seemed natural”, and a desire to have children and “family life”. The attitudes to gay men and lesbians held currently by the married group were significantly more positive than their reports of their attitudes around the time their marriage commenced, and the level of childhood sexual experiences with adults or older adolescents was significantly associated with the extent of their unsafe sexual practices with men (prior, during and/or after marriage). Marrieds described their families’ religious beliefs as more fundamentalist than never-marrieds. Family adaptability and family cohesion and the degree to which respondents reported having experienced child maltreatment did not distinguished between marrieds and never-marrieds, however these variables did predict the level of self-depreciation. No differences were found between marrieds and never-marrieds’ ratings of their sexual orientation and identity, homophobia, or self-depreciation. The results highlight how little is understood of the reasons why gay men marry, and the need to develop an adequate theoretical model.
Language eng
Field of Research 170102 Developmental Psychology and Ageing
HERDC Research category L3 Extract of paper (minor conferences)
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30015529

Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: School of Psychology
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